Six Reasons to Start Advertising on Social Media


Somewhere between all the cat photos, incorrectly used memes, and Hotline Bling gifs, the Internet became a hell of a lot more social.

While search engine marketing has long been a staple of the paid digital media landscape, more recently it’s had to start sharing the stage with social media advertising.

Social media usage continues to explode in popularity – in August 2015 Mark Zuckerberg announced that one billion people (active, individual users) had used Facebook in a day!

That’s one in seven people on planet earth…

Social media advertising goes beyond Facebook:

These are numbers and audiences that can’t be ignored anymore. With social media advertising becoming more sophisticated, nuanced, and cost effective than ever before, the time is ripe to add paid social marketing to your mix.

Here are six reasons to start advertising on social media:


1. Half of the top 10 most used apps on mobile are social media apps.

Mobile users check apps multiple times daily and social apps offer a better native experience for advertisers and users, as opposed to the standard in-browser experience. Advertising within this native format ensures that not only are you reaching places where consumers spend more time, but that your ads are able cut through the clutter of an otherwise fragmented browsing experience.

2. Social media is becoming one of the biggest influencers on consumer purchasing decisions.

People are influenced by the experiences of others and social media delivers endorsements directly to potential customers. ODM Group found that around 74% of consumers use social media connections to help guide their purchasing decisions. Because social media leverages the power of networks, you can serve adverts that are endorsed by current customers and reach users that are similar or connected to those same existing customers.

3. You can target audiences in ways other than just behavior.

With search engine marketing you’re limited to targeting based only on search behavior, in other words a user has to be actively looking for something related to what you’re offering. Social media advertising can target within platform, to self-declared interests, complex behavioral patterns, and networked associations, to name but a few.

4. You get to see more of the online picture.

Search engine marketing is just one part of the pie, as is internal website behavior. Social media marketing helps paint the bigger picture by tracking things like behavior, engagement, and traffic patterns, which can be used to inform macro digital marketing decisions.

5. Online video is on par with TV in terms of effect

A 2015 BrightRoll survey found that 72% of ad agency reps think that online video ads are as effective or more effective than ads on TV. Moreover, 60% predicted that mobile video would see more growth than any other ad category in 2016. Social media is primed for video viewing: Facebook boasts over eight billion video views daily, Snapchat sits at six billion views daily, and Twitter and Instagram are not far behind.

6. You can learn from your marketing in real time.

Social media allows you to be where the conversations are happening. As well as responding to negative feedback right away, you can promote content instantly and target users being affected by real-time events. In situations where time is of the essence, placing advertising dollars behind social content allows you to penetrate through the organic voices and reach potential customers first, with context relevant material. Due to the nature of the platforms, lead-time is much shorter in contrast to traditional media, so as long as your team is responsive and prepared, you can go from ideation to implementation as fast as your team can coordinate.

You’ve probably already had “the social conversation” either with your clients or internally, and if you haven’t, you should probably start dropping some hints. I personally like the subtle “faux cough” followed by shouting “Facebook ads!” mid-conversation.

No matter the market, target audience, or client, there is a paid social media solution to fit every marketing objective and drive growth in new and exciting ways.

Qayam Sayani

Qayam Sayani

Associate Account Manager - Social at MediaCom
Qayam is a digital marketing professional and a member of the paid social team here at Catalyst Canada. A British transplant in Toronto, Qayam spends his spare time running away from polar bears and downing maple syrup by the barrel. Connect with him on Twitter for digital marketing tips and all the latest raccoon gifs.
Qayam Sayani

Latest posts by Qayam Sayani (see all)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *